On Sunday 1 May, while the South African MTB Marathon Championships for Masters aged 30-and-above is underway, spectators will see an impressive display of development racing from some of KwaZulu-Natal’s surrounding districts. The young and keen mountain bike and BMX enthusiasts will be able to put their learned skills to the test in a real competition environment.

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Each rider who participates will receive a medal for taking part, and those getting podium positions will receive trophies to take home and show off to their friends and families, also encouraging other young members of the communities to aspire to do the same.

KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns, said: “The series finale at the PMB MTB Festival is the highlight of the year for a lot of the kids. It will be a great opportunity for them to come to Pietermaritzburg for the first or second time to compete in an event that is bigger than anything they have ever participated in before.”

Johns mentioned that the finale would showcase and identify cycling talent in the province, and give the young riders a fantastic opportunity to compete against each other on even terms.

“KwaZulu-Natal Cycling prides itself on having the leading Grass Roots Development Programme in the country and we aim to allow access to cycling to as many children as possible. This year we have achieved new heights in giving opportunities to over 2500 children and they have loved every minute of it,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Cycling President, Greg Stedman, said: “I see development of cycling as a sport as our most important task and responsibility of the provincial cycling body.”

Stedman mentioned that the focus is on taking cycling into all communities. “Our aim is on developing clubs and cycling hubs,” he added.

“The fruits of our efforts are starting to bear fruit and we are seeing more and more children from disadvantaged communities rising through the sport. I am looking forward to this, the second District Series Finale at the PMB MTB Festival, and would like to thank the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports and Recreation for their continued support in this programme,” he concluded.

Spectators will be able to witness first-hand what Johns and Stedman see on a weekly basis – the determination, passion, pride and sheer joy on the faces of these young cycling heroes whose skills have been nurtured and their growing talent supported. The support of their friends, learned sportsmanship and encouragement of each other is a skill that all of those spectating can admire as well.